"I have done a lot of delving into just plain history. I am especially interested in World War II. The invasion of the Canyonlands in Book 6: The Burning is based on what I found out about the Normandy invasion, right down to the owlipoppen.” - Kathryn Lasky, Guardians of Ga'hoole Discussion Guide
The conflict known as the War of the Pure Ones, sometimes called the War of Fire and Ice, was the conflict taking place from The Capture to The Burning in which the evil forces of the Pure Ones waged all-out war to destroy the Guardians and take control of the owl world.
Before the War
The band encountered a dying rogue smith whom they thought had been attacked by St. Aggie's, but said he had been murdered by an even greater threat. This puzzling murder, along with the events surrounding the suspicious disappearance of Ezylryb and the Great Downing's occurence sparked much talk about what was changing within the owl world. Up to this point, the Pure Ones were relatively unknown, but their secret was getting out fast because of encounters with St. Aggie's. Nobody suspected just how great the Pure Ones' threat was to the freedom of the owl universe.
The Pure OnesThe High Tyto Kludd and Her Pureness, Nyra, were the leaders of the evil forces ready to do battle with the Guardians who prevented their pure society and conquest of the owl world. Other important officers in the Pure Ones' ranks were Stryker, Uglamore, and Wortmore, the three top lieutenents. With these leaders at the head of the snake, the Pure Ones thought they couldn't lose the coming war. The Pure Ones numbered about a thousand soldiers strong at the peak of the war during The Siege; ironically, only a score or so of Pure Ones survived.
The GuardiansThe Guardians' forces were led by their prestigious monarchs, Boron and Barran, along with the war minister, Ezylryb, and the other distinguished rybs, or teachers, of the Great Tree. The Band also played an important role in the war as they discovered the Pure Ones in the first place, infiltrated St. Aggie's, and went to the Northern Kingdoms to gather allies and training with ice weapons. The Frost Beaks and Glauxspeed divisions of the Kielian League Army were important assets in the Battle of Fire and Ice. The Guardians numbered only a few hundred owls at any one time but the Kielian League allied soldiers boosted their numbers by a few hundred for the Battle of Fire and Ice.
The Devil's Triangle
The Battle of the Devil's Triangle
The chaw of chaws did not expect to run into the threat of the then unknown Pure Ones but when a small battle occurred between the small, inexperienced group of owls and the small Pure Ones strike force, the young'uns were ready. They fought bravely and won the battle against much more experienced soldiers. They returned to the great tree with Ezylryb and revealed the truth about the Pure Ones to the owl world. And thus the War of the Pure Ones began.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"
—Ezylryb to the Guardians
The Battle of Coasts
The Battle of the Coast was the beginning of the attack by the Pure Ones on the Great Tree. Soren, Gylfie, and Twilight were part of snare units who lured and killed the first waves of Barn Owl invaders. The plan was simple: lure the enemy in and let the snares kill or incapacitate the enemy. The Pure Ones never saw this coming but Nyra knew this was only the beginning of the war.
The Battle of Hoole
The Battle of Hoole took place after the the Battle of Coasts when some Pure Ones infiltrated part of the Tree due to Dewlap's allowing them into the Great Tree. The details of the battle were not mentioned in great detail and are thus far unknown to the public.
The Battle of the Siege
The scale of the Battle of the Siege was a large factor in its importance. With the Pure Ones leading an all out assault, the Guardians defended valiantly to keep the Tree and its owls free. Nyra and Kludd were in the thick of battle along with other high ranking officers. Nyra killed Strix Struma when she was leading her elite unit, the Strix Struma Strikers, into battle. Otulissa tried to avenge the beloved ryb but Nyra bested her and got away but not before she gave Nyra a lifelong scar across her face. Nyra then attacked Soren who was later met in battle by Kludd as well. With Wortmore and a couple of other big Barn Owls by his side, Kludd attacked Soren but he escaped with the help of the flying snakes of Ambala. They saved his life when Wortmore was about to attack him and the rest of the Pure Ones retreated. And thus the Siege of the Great Tree came to an end in favor of the Guardians but at a costly price.
A War of Lies
Eglantine was traumatized by what Twilight had said about her parents and how they were dead and nothing could be done to help them now. Eglantine resented Twilight strongly and was encouraged by Ginger to harness this resentment. When Eglantine had a dream that her mother was waiting for her in the Beaks, she immediately went to go find her. She did indeed find someone; it was Nyra, Kludd's mate, whom she found. But unbeknownst to Eglantine, it wasn't her mother. She took occasional trips to the Beaks, sometimes with Ginger her new friend. Little by little, Eglantine was secretly being shattered by Ginger because she was putting flecks in Eglantine's nest for sleeping. On one of her trips to the Beaks, Eglantine was wakened to a mob of Pure Ones who had successfully trapped herself and the "shattered" Primrose. Nyra uncovered who she really was and how she had tricked Eglantine. She also reveiled the Sacred Orb, her egg she had laid that was the future of the Pure Ones.
The Sacred Orb
With Pure Ones all around and Primrose supposedly shattered, Eglantine quickly thought to steal the egg and did so with Primrose hot on her tail before the Pure Ones even knew what happened. Nyra quickly gave chase with a squadron of her personal troops nearby, Nyra's Annihilators. Eglantine and Primrose bravely flew into the thick of a forest fire the Pure One guards had reported to Nyra on so that Nyra wouldn't follow them. They were intent on escaping alive and with the egg as a hostage. Nearby, the Guardians had come prepared for a forest fire and search-and-rescue and tracking chaws as well, ready to help owls in need but not ready to fight a force of Pure Ones.
Ezylryb, Boron, and Barran learned from scouts of the chaws that the Pure Ones were indeed here chasing Eglantine and Primrose. They needed to follow the two without being detected though, so Ezylryb proposed using the help of gannets for the reconnisance mission. When the gannet reported back, the Guardians learned the account of events of the chasing and how many owls the Pure Ones numbered. With quite fewer owls, Ezylryb devised a peg-out with which to trick the enemy into thinking the Guardians were in the Beaks as well but also with allies from the Northern Kingdoms. Ezylryb, Boron, Barran, and Otulissa all spoke Krakish during the peg-out to fool the Pure Ones. Soon after, Nyra decided to have the majority of her forces fall back out of the Beaks and was left with a mere 75 owls, a squadron and a half.
The Battle of the Beaks
Although not much fighting occurred, a small skirmish did ensue between the Pure Ones and the small Guardian force who were trying to save Eglantine and Primrose. Eglantine was able to escape Nyra before being utterly transfixed by the flames of a Crown of Fire. She went yeep but recovered before hitting the ground; unfortunately she lost the egg but Nyra wasn't able to save it. Uglamore, one of Nyra's lieutenants, began to wonder just how did the Guardians win this battle even though they had considerably less soldiers, a question that would haunt him the rest of his days.
The Northern Kingdoms
The chaw of chaws was tasked with finding Moss, commander of the Kielian League's army, and to convince him and the Kielian League parliament to allow soldiers to aid the Guardians in the war with the Pure Ones. Unknown to Soren and the others, they were also to be taught by Orf and Moss how to fight with ice weapons and to harvest ice weapons for the Great Tree and battle claws from Orf. The training came along quickly but gathering vast amounts of soldiers for the war was difficult. Hoke of Hock and Moss couldn't promise soldiers until the parliament decided and they wouldn't meet for the longest time. And to add insult to injury, the chaw of chaws were returning without Gylfie who had been captured by kraals, pirates of the Northern Kingdoms.
The Invasion of St. Aggie's
Operation: Double Cross
This tactic was to trick the Pure Ones into concentrating the security of high profile areas of the canyonlands so that the invasion force would be able to launch a surprise attack. Stryker and Uglamore were arguing over the dilemma when they found out the "owls" who had landed in the Great Horns were owlipoppen, owl rag dolls. With the Pure Ones tricked, the invasion force began their next operation over the Needles.
Operation: Forever and a Day
This tactic was to send in two groups of stealth units: brush units who would plant brush and moss throughout the canyonlands for the Guardians' to be able to use fire in battle and a group led by Soren and the ex-Ablah General, Skench, who would go to the library and destroy the flecks. The flecks were successfully destroyed but the brush caught fire easily because of the canyonlands' aridness. The entire area was covered with smoke and all hope of an organized attack was lost.
The Battle of Fire and Ice
With confusion spurred by the brush fires, the St. Aggie's troops turned on the Guardians and Soren had to kill Skench when she attacked him. She had just before wounded Twilight after he dealt with two Barn Owls and a St. Aggie's lieutenant. With the battle raging, the small stealth force made their way to Quentin the quartermaster. Another problem for the Guardians was that a few of their elite units were pinned down by Pure Ones in between the Great Horns. The Frost Beaks and Glauxspeed divisions had arrived to aid the Guardians led by Gylfie who had gotten through to the Kielian League parliament. Otulissa on the other hand was dealing with her own problems. She was part of the group pinned between the Horns. She faced off against Stryker and wounded him before Ruby joined her to chase the Pure One officer. He did escape but with a cut to his belly and notch out of his beak. Soren and Martin were battling enemy soldiers as well when Twilight showed up with vultures who scared the hireclaw and Pure One into falling to their deaths. They then gave chase to a Masked Owl who led them into a trap where Kludd was waiting with an attack force and Digger hostage. The brothers' batttle began.
The Battle of the Brothers (and Twilight)
- Soren and Kludd faced off in the cave that Soren and the others had been led into. Soren only thought about what he had to do and Kludd thought about his hatred for his younger brother and his death. They dueled around the cave, a dangerous environment where Kludd seemed to be taking the advantage of knowing the terrain. When Soren seemed to have lost all hope of losing the duel and not being able to kill Kludd, Twilight attacked him instead and stabbed him, breaking his back. Kludd fell to the cave floor, where he immediately died in a pool of blood with his eyes rolled back. The war had ended, with the Pure Ones defeated.
The Pure Ones- Losses
The Pure Ones were all but destroyed from the fighting of the war. Hundreds upon hundreds of soldiers were killed, and only a score or so survived the war with the Guardians. The Pure Ones lost their High Tyto, officers, and some of the backbone soldiers of the army.
Some of the known deaths are:
- Dustytuft's father
The Guardians were mentioned to have relatively few losses, and most of the main characters survived the war. Many of these characters were wounded in battle, though.
Some of the known deaths are:
- Strix Struma
The result of the war was a Great Ga'Hoole Tree victory and temporary defeat to the Pure Ones. Nyra promised her son, born the day after the war ended, that their empire would one day rise again and it would destroy the Great Ga'Hoole Tree with her son, Nyroc, as High Tyto, ruler of the Pure Ones, emperor of the owl world.